Egypt’s president paid tribute to the 2011 uprising that toppled longtime ruler Hosni Mubarak, saying that protesters killed during the 18-day revolt had sought to revive “noble principles” and found a “new Egypt”.
President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi delivered his remarks via a televised speech ahead of today’s fifth anniversary of the uprising.
A recent spate of arrests and a heightened security presence in the capital Cairo have made clear Egyptian authorities’ determination that the occasion will not be marked by popular demonstrations — or militant attacks.
El-Sissi said the 2011 uprising had deviated from its course and was forcibly hijacked for “personal gains and narrow interests”.
That was a thinly-veiled reference to the Muslim Brotherhood, which has been banned and declared a terror group after el-Sissi, as military chief, led the ouster in July 2013 of Islamist president Mohammed Morsi, who hails from the Brotherhood.
The “June 30 revolution” — a reference to the day in 2013 when millions of Egyptians demonstrated on the streets against the rule of Morsi and his Muslim Brotherhood — corrected the course of the 2011 uprising, el-Sissi said.
The June 30 revolution, he said, took place to “restore the free will of Egyptians and continue to realise their legitimate aspirations and deserved ambitions.”
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